The dive sites of Thailand offer some of the best scuba diving in the world. The Andaman Sea off the west coast, is home to a huge diversity of marine life. All levels of scuba diving are catered for, from shallow training dives, to the deepest wall dives around. We have compiled detailed descriptions of some fantastic dive sites to help you choose your ideal scuba diving destinations in Thailand. Check out our Similan Islands Map and Day Trip Diving Map to see the locations of the dive sites and where the Sharks and Manta Rays can usually be found. Included are the Similan Islands, Koh Bon, Koh Tachai, Richelieu Rock, Phuket, The King Cruiser, Anemone Reef, Shark Point Phuket, Racha Yai, Racha Noi, the Phi Phi Islands - including Bida Nog and Bida Nai, as well as Hin Daeng and Hin Muang.
Similan Islands Dive Sites
The Similan Islands are breathtaking and renowned for both above and below water natural beauty. It’s normal in the Similans, for the visibility to reach in excess of 30 metres. The Similans has been voted one of the top ten dive destinations in the world and its dive sites offer distinct contrasts between, relaxing reef dives, through to huge underwater boulder formations with swim-throughs and giant Gorgonian Fans. Expect to be treated to a vast array of aquatic critters, including White Tip and Leopard Sharks. It is strongly advised to dive the Similans from a liveaboard dive boat. Visit our Liveaboards Section for more information. Due to the south-westerly monsoon, we recommend diving in the Similans from October through to May. It is still possible to dive there between June and September, but dive conditions can sometimes be rough and stormy.
Koh Bon, Koh Tachai and Richelieu Rock are located to the north of the Similan Islands and are best dived from a liveaboard. Koh Bon is one of the best places in Thailand to dive with Manta Rays. Koh Tachai attracts Leopard Sharks, Mantas and Whalesharks, as well as an almost infinite amount of smaller critters. Richelieu Rock is part of the Surin National Marine Park and is the best place in Thailand to find Whalesharks. It also offers a vast array of other fantastic marine life, some of which is native to only this one dive site. Many Similan liveaboard operators we use include these three sites in their Similan Islands liveaboard itinerary. Check with us first to avoid disappointment.
Phuket Dive Sites
Phuket and the nearby islands of Racha Yai and Rachai Noi offer some great diving. Clown Frogfish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish, Turtles and Mantas are all frequently sighted around here. The visibility is usually good, and in green season from June to October the visibility regularly exceeds 30 metres. Day trips leave from Phuket in the morning and return mid to late afternoon, depending on your dive site destinations. The east coast of Racha Yai offers some great reef dives and three wreck dives.
Koh Doc Mai, The King Cruiser, Shark Point Phuket and Anemone Reef are positioned roughly in between Phuket and Koh Phi Phi. Shark Point Phuket and Anemone Reef are considered to be 5 star dive sites. Seahorses, Ribbon Eels, Turtles and Leopard Sharks can be found here. Koh Doc Mai offers great wall diving and the 85 metre King Cruiser, which sank in 1997 attracts huge numbers of pelagics. Three out of four of these dive sites can be dived on a single day trip from Phuket. Contact us for more details.
Jutting out of the azure blue ocean 50km east of Phuket are some jagged limestone cliffs. This is Koh Phi Phi. Famed by the movie “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio. Phi Phi Island offers superb diving and an abundance of marine life. Day trips from Phuket run all year. There are two treasures named Bida Nok and Bida Nai. These are the best dive sites to find Leopard Sharks and Blacktip Sharks. Small treasures abound, like Tigertail Seahorses and obscure Nudibranchs. Phi Phi offers shallow reef dives, wall dives and more. For more about Koh Phi Phi see our Travel Section.
Koh Haa, Hin Daeng and Hin Muang, located south east of Phuket are two of the best sites in Thailand. With drop offs to 70 metres, Hin Daeng and Muang are the deepest dive sites in Thailand. Easily reachable from Phuket on a day trip, they are definitely worth a visit. Mantas are the norm here and 8 metre Whalesharks are a common site. Visibility is often 30+ metres. Due to the secluded location of these sites, they are usually only offered during high season from October through to May. We can however arrange a trip with a liveaboard there during the green season. Contact us for more details.